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Lotus Maternal Therapeutic Outreach Team

  • A dedicated service for women and birthing people in Norfolk and Waveney, providing help and support for trauma related mental health difficulties during pregnancy, birth and afterwards.

  • Service Manager Lead: Melinda Bird
  • Service Contact: Telephone 01603 786781, email Lotus@nsft.nhs.uk
  • Address:
    Kingfisher House,  Hellesdon Hospital, Norwich, NR6 5BE
  • Service hours: 9:00 to 17:00 Monday to Friday

What this service offers

Lotus Team Logo

The Lotus Maternal Therapeutic Outreach Team launched in June 2021 and works closely with other services to offer support to women and birthing people who have experienced trauma in pregnancy, birth and immediately afterwards.

The service is in its pilot year, offering support to women and birthing people who have experienced:

  • Birth trauma (a traumatic event related to pregnancy, birth or immediately afterwards)
  • Fear of childbirth (Tokophobia)
  • Loss of a pregnancy (this could include miscarriage, termination of pregnancy, ectopic pregnancy and stillbirth) or the death of a baby within the first 12 months.
  • A child no longer living with them due to Children’s Services involvement

To find out more information about each of the individual Lotus services, please follow the above links.

The Lotus service and our interventions have been developed in partnership with experts by experience and draw upon research, evidence and national guidance.

The Lotus Team is proud to include professionals from a range of backgrounds – including Clinical Psychologists, Peer Support Workers, Psychotherapists and Specialist Midwives – to provide person-centred care according to the individual’s needs. Our team will offer a variety of different interventions depending on individual needs. This might include individual therapy with one of our therapists using evidenced based approaches such as:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Compassion Focussed Therapy (CFT)
  • Video Interaction Guidance (VIG)
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

We offer a Trauma Informed Care approach, which means:

  • Staff being trustworthy and clear
  • Peer support
  • Working together and supporting women to make individual choices
  • Being sensitive to cultural and gender issues that may impact on anyone’s experience of care

Access this service

Referrals can be made to the Lotus team by all professionals, including GPs, midwives, social workers and voluntary organisations. To ensure all referrals are safely managed and allocated to the most appropriate service based upon the presenting needs, all referrals are redirected into a Single Point of Access (SPOA) for triage and multi-agency decision making. This may mean some cases are allocated to the Lotus team or signposted to other teams, such as the wider perinatal service or the Wellbeing team.

If you are a professional and are considering making a referral to the Lotus service, you can contact us to arrange a consultation by emailing lotus@nsft.nhs.uk or calling 01603 786781

Alternatively, you can self-refer by contacting the Lotus team on 01603 786781 or emailing lotus@nsft.nhs.uk.

When a referral is received, our team will assess each person’s individual situation and we will do this by contacting them to better understand their needs and hopes from the service.  Once the referral has been accepted, an initial assessment appointment will be offered by one of the team. We may suggest a joint assessment with another team, such as the Wellbeing service or the Community Perinatal Mental Health Service, if we are unsure which team might be able to offer the most appropriate support.

Depending on the situation, we might suggest other relevant organisations, or offer support in making a referral to other services. For example, people whose children are no longer living with them might also find the Mpower service helpful.

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How this service support carers including friends and family

Whilst we are not currently commissioned to work individually with partners, there may be occasions where therapeutic work as a couple would be helpful. We will also encourage partners to contact their GPs if they need formal mental health support and help to signpost to other support organisations. We can refer partners or family members to Carer’s Support Services, if they wish to be assessed as a Carer.

We support partners and families by including them in the development of Care Plans, where appropriate.  This is in line with the NSFT Triangle of Care approach, which promotes a collaborative working relationship between the Service User, Professional, and Carer to help support recovery and wellbeing.

Visiting and onsite facilities

We aim to work with you in an environment in which you feel comfortable, which means that the place where therapeutic interventions and support takes place, may vary. This support can also be offered face to face and/or virtually via video call or telephone. Face to face support could take place in GP surgeries, maternity hubs, local maternity units and other community venues. This will be discussed prior to booking an appointment. Access and requirements such as proximity to public transport routes can also be discussed during the booking process.

Free parking spaces, including disabled, are available at our NSFT sites.

Websites and resources you may find useful

Fear of childbirth:

Tommy’s website has a section dedicated to this subject. Fear of childbirth | Tommy's (tommys.org)

‘Oh sh*t twins’ is a supportive blog and podcast for mums of twins, many of whom experience trauma. Oh Sh*t Twins –

 

For those who have experienced loss and feelings of loss through infertility, termination, miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death.

Local support

Time Norfolk. supports women and men who have suffered a pregnancy loss due to termination, miscarriage, stillbirth or facing an unplanned pregnancy. We also support women through pregnancy to the early stages of parenting. In addition to the above, we help women come to terms with infertility. @NorfolkSupport

CRADLE Norfolk @cradle_norfolk CRADLE ambassadors for the Norfolk and Norwich University and Kings Lynn Queen Elizabeth hospitals. To bring comfort to parents during a time of pregnancy loss.

Angels and Rainbows (angelsandrainbowssupport.co.uk) - Angels and Rainbows is a community group based in Lowestoft which supports families of pregnancy and baby loss.

National support

The Miscarriage Association offers livechat, support groups via zoom and a forum.

SANDS (stillbirth and neonatal death society) but also supports those who have lost a baby due to miscarriage, termination due to foetal abnormality and molar pregnancy.

Lullaby Trust- support for families and others affected by sudden infant death.

Child bereavement UK support for families bereaved of children.

Arc UK, support and promotion of human rights for parents before, during and after antenatal screening.

Tommy’s facebook page for those who have lost pregnancies and babies for diverse reasons including termination due to congenital problems.

Petals (Pregnancy Expectations Trauma and Loss Society) provides individual and couples counselling sessions to individuals following the loss of a baby.

 

For birthing parents whose child is not in residence. 

Local support:

Mpower- supporting mothers whose children are not in residence. 

Mobile: 07719973027

National support

Pause - Does not offer direct support but has useful information.

PAC UK - A national online and telephone service for parents whose children are not in residence.

Urgent help

The Lotus team is unable to offer 24 hour crisis support, however NSFT runs the First Response line, which is available 24 hours a day. They can be contacted by calling 0808 196 3494.

If you are with someone who has attempted suicide, call 999 and stay with them until the ambulance arrives. 

If anyone is at serious risk of harm, call 999 and ask for the police. 

For non-life threatening medical situations, call NHS111 on 111.  

For more information, see Help in a Crisis.

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